February 14, 2022: This is a portion of the Facilitators Newsletter, shared for the network community as well…
“It is probable that the next Buddha will not take the form of an individual. The next Buddha may take the form of a community, a community practicing understanding and loving-kindness, a community practicing mindful living.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
“The sea is made of drops of water.”
~ Desmond Tutu
“Dominator culture has tried to keep us all afraid, to make us choose safety instead of risk, sameness instead of diversity. Moving through that fear, finding out what connects us, reveling in our differences; this is the process that brings us closer, that gives us a world of shared values, of meaningful community.”
~ bell hooks
We start 2022 with gratitude for all that is: as root teacher Joanna Macy has said, just being alive on this Earth is enough to celebrate.
We have, however, experienced three recent important losses: social activist and author bell hooks, human rights activist Desmond Tutu, and master precursor of the concept of engaged spirituality Thich Nhat Hanh.
Each of them left us with eyes wide open to the injustices and challenges as well as the possibilities. And their passings open the doors for new leaders and actions based on the inspiration they sowed.
Looking at the legacy of these three great human beings, it is time for us to honour the deeper roots and repercussions of the work we do: beyond the spiral and the WTR practices, we may ask, how do different cultures and peoples of the world express gratitude, honour their pain, see with new and ancient eyes and support each other to go forth? Aren’t these practices what create resilience for peoples who have been historically suppressed, silenced, oppressed or left out of the conversation and big decision-making?
Thay (as many lovingly called Thich Nhat Hanh) once said that there is actually no birth and no death, another way to see the concept (also created by him) of inter-being. How would this affect the work we do, the way we see the future, and our own role in all?
The invitation this time is to allow ourselves to observe around us and open our senses to what our immediate environments may teach us about the appropriateness of the WTR practices. How can we enrich and expand our work as Work That Reconnects facilitators and practitioners to honour the deeper roots that have been carried by all the peoples and traditions of the world?